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Life in Greencastle - Young and Old

As I step out of my office I feel like Max in Where the Wild Things Are for the entire church has become a jungle with trees all around. And just like the book, the wilderness continues to grow. Above our kitchen in the fellowship hall a mighty bear stares out upon us like medieval times. The sanctuary is full of park vista scenes and tents. And, yes, the children of Round Barn Daycare play the role of the wild things perfectly - "showing their terrible claws" until myself or Ms. January tame them.

Yes, we are about to enter the week of Vacation Bible School, and last night Susan Lorimer, Sue Resner, Mary Jane Jones, Megan, Catharine and Carolyn McKee all chipped in to transform our church into a hidden wilderness. I'm sure I've missed many others. But thanks to all of you who are helping - including the many who picked up an item here and an item there (including the kiddie pool for my station! ... you are very brave to give me such access and freedom). And - at the same time - please do know that your help will still be needed. You are indeed invited to join us next week from 9 am to noon each day - to experience the delight and commotion of children learning and loving. If that's you, please tell Susan Lorimer.

So, part of our body is focused upon our youngest members. We take seriously this next week our vows spoken at baptisms: Yes, Lord, we will nurture and nourish our children. We will pass on the faith to them so that they too can come to know that you are our health and salvation.

And, at the same moment, part of our body is attending to the death of another friend, this time a dear brother: Max Herriott. God, we thank you for Max's life. We thank you that you have completed his baptism and given him life abundantly and infinitely. And, even though those closest to Max know he is now better off ... the loss still hurts, the friendship still grieved.

I know many of you stopped into to see Max over the course of these last two weeks - to sit with Max in the difficult moments remembering the better ones. And I want you to see the holiness of your vigil, how very much it was like the attention paid to our dying Lord as he was upon the cross.

"Above all else, stay close to the Heart of God," pastor William C. Martin says, "and all things around you will unfold as they should."

If we continue to be a people who take time to stay with a dying man as he awaits his new life, we need not worry. Things will unfold as they should. We are near the Heart of God, just as we are when we pour our energy out for the littlest of these.

And one last thing. Listen to this my friends! There is a rail that runs the course of the hall from the narthex to fellowship hall in our church. Take note of this: that sturdy beam of wood to support the weight of the aged and the same beam that tantalizes the outstretched hand of a toddler ... that beam was constructed by our friend, Max Herriott. How about that: a gift of one of our own, a lasting legacy of a rich and generous and articulate life. Thanks be to God.

May God continue to bring forth gifts from one generation to be shared with the next.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday. We will take some more time to reflect on ... time. This week: Jesus' words about adding hours to our day and God's care for us.




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